Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sweets and Treats with Six Sisters' Stuff

Sweets & Treats with Six Sisters' Stuff

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

ISBN13: 9781629720791

Paperback: 167 pages

Everybody’s favorite sisters are back, and this time they brought the dessert!


In SWEETS & TREATS Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Steph, Lauren, and Kendra show you how to up your dessert game with an array of scrump­tious, fun, and simple-to-make goodies that will make your taste buds sing. In classic Six Sis­ters’ style, all these recipes are inventive but designed with your busy life in mind—no crazy ingredients or fancy techniques required!

After growing up in a close-knit family in Utah, the sisters scattered across the country when they went off to college, got married, and had kids. To keep in touch, they started the Six Sis­ters’ Stuff blog, which (much to their surprise!) attracted a massive following. Today, SixSis­ is an Internet sensation filled with recipes, meal planners, DIY projects, and more!

At the core of the Six Sisters’ brand are home-grown values: a devotion to family, love, and togetherness. And delicious, lovingly prepared food, of course!
SWEETS & TREATS is a treasure trove of ideas for the fun parent. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a festive after school snack, kids will be dazzled by Homemade Twix Bars, Circus Animal Truffles, Samoa Cupcakes, or Churro Chex Mix! Rock the school bake sales with spins on the classics —from Reese’s Brownies to Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies. And the recipes are so easy that kids can even bake along!

For party time, after dinner, or even just some well-deserved self-indulgence , SWEETS & TREATS is filled to the brim with cakes, pies, and other swoon-worthy delights like Brownie Caramel Cheesecake, Mini Pumpkin Pies, Berries and Cream Trifle, or perfect raspberry sorbet. This book features classic recipes derived from the Six Sisters’ family heritage (like their Fresh Peach Pie!) alongside innovative creations (Peanut Butter Brownie Buckeye Cupcakes, any­one?), that will give you options for easy entertaining.

Also included are these magnificent delights:
Hot Fudge Sundae Ice Cream Cake
Microwave Caramels
Frozen Grasshopper Cookie Pie
Rocky Road Fudge
Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

Every recipe is accompanied by a colorful photo and there are lots of whimsical sidebars throughout the book that offer great family activities, tricks for parties, crafts, and even ideas for cute, easy date nights. The Sisters know first-hand what it’s like to juggle a hectic life, and they’ve designed everything so that you can concentrate on putting a smile on your family’s faces.
The proof is in the pudding (and also the cakes, brownies, and cookies! With the Six Sisters you can put dessert first!

My Review

Flipping through this book was an absolute treat. I love how the pages are designed.  I appreciate that the ingredients are in bold font and the huge picture on the pages are enough to make your mouth water.  Like other Six Sisters' book, I enjoy the glimpses and stories behind some of the recipes and there are some darling crafts too.  I'm excited to dive in and try some of these recipes!  This will be a perfect Christmas gift for the baker on your list. 

Purchase Links

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Rare Nativity by Sam Beeson -- Blog Tour

A Rare Nativity: An Unexpected  Twist to the 12 Days of Christmas

Author: Sam Beeson
Images: Nina & Terral Cochran

ISBN13: 9781629720623

Hardcover: 32 pages

FTC FYI: Received a hardcover copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

We’ve all heard the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and we’ve all seen the traditional Christmas crèche. Now, author Sam Beeson and photographers Nina and Terral Cochran combine these two classic Christmas icons to create A Rare Nativity.

Upon reading the first lines of the book, it’s clear the narrator holds a bitter grudge as he sends his enemy crude and discarded gifts:

On the first night of Christmas I gave my enemy 
a briar from a tanglewood tree. 
On the second night of Christmas I gave my enemy 
two rotten eggs.

Night after night the “gifts” pile up—shards of glass, rusty nails, gnarled twigs, and more. What the narrator’s enemy decides to do with each of these odious gifts is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. The photographic creation of the rare nativity at the end of the book is both a work of art and a wonder to behold.

Forgiveness is something we all need to give and receive, and A Rare Nativity opens our eyes to the act of forgiveness and the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a universal message to be shared with readers of all ages. Christmas is a season for giving. Make it a forgiving season.

My Review

It's hard to put into words how I feel about this book.  It is so beautiful.  The story will stay with you long after you finish, as it will me.  The narrative gives his enemy bits of trash for 12 days, and he was quite pleased with what he did.  What got to to me the most was the message from his enemy, "Forgive Me".  Oh, it made me teary.  What the enemy does with the trash it truly beautiful, a lovely lesson for all. 

Author Links


Purchase Links

Amazon / Indiebound

Friday, November 20, 2015

Caretaker by Josi Russell


Author: Josi Russell

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Published: Sept. 2015

ISBN13: 9780989125383

Paperback: 325 pages

FTC FYI: I received an ebook copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

Fifty years in space—alone.

Ethan Bryant was supposed to fall asleep on a ship leaving Earth and wake up fifty years later with his family on the planet Minea. Instead, after the ship’s caretaker—the lone human in charge of monitoring the ship’s vital systems—suddenly died, the ship’s computer locked Ethan out of his stasis chamber and gave him the job. That was five years ago. Five years of checking to make sure everything runs smoothly on a ship Ethan knows almost nothing about.

Who wouldn’t dread the years ahead? Who wouldn’t long for their once-bright future now stolen away?

Ethan is resigned to his fate, until the ship suddenly wakes up another passenger: a beautiful engineer who, along with Ethan, soon discovers a horrible secret—a navigation room hidden from even the ship’s computer. The ship is not bound for Minea—but to somewhere far more dangerous.

With the ship nearing its sinister destination, Ethan soon learns he is the only one who holds the key to saving all 4,000 passengers from a highly-advanced, hostile alien race.

My Review

I met the author at an Authorpalooza and was intrigued by this book.  The cover is very striking and eye-catching.  The story is absolutely fascinating and I loved Ethan.  The events that lead to him being the Caretaker were page-turning and exciting, but most of those whys and hows to him being caretaker, we don't find out about until later (which I liked).  I enjoyed how the author worked in the back story of Ethan and his family and especially how he learned a mysterious language.  I don't want to give away the plot at all, but there are many twists to the story that really added to the plot and changed his life on the ship.  Which actually turns out to be more of an upheaval than a change.

4 out of 5 stars.  Great book with fantastic characters and an enjoyable plot.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

Author Links

Publisher / Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Purchase Links 

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fatal Exchange by Cindy Hogan

Fatal Exchange

Author: Cindy M. Hogan

Published: Sept. 2015

Publisher: O'neal Publishing

ISBN13: 9780985131883

Paperback: 250 pages

FTC FYI: Received a MOBI copy in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

For 19-year-old Christy Hadden, it’s life as usual as a spy, only this time in Paris, France. Her mission: retrieve a flash drive containing evidence that a high public official is working to destroy Paris. Pretty standard, until someone steals the drive from her. Forced to abandon her position protecting the informant, she goes after the thief, but returns empty handed—only to find her informant dead.

Christy's failure taints her reputation at Division and the director has lost all faith in her. But Christy isn't one to slink into the shadows. Alone and disgraced, she decides to track down the drive and solve the murder, not only to redeem herself as a spy, but to give meaning to her informant’s sacrifice, and perhaps even save Paris.

Suspenseful, with the right amount of romance, and awash with action, Fatal Exchange will send you on a thrill ride that will be hard to forget.

My Review

This book is a non-stop ride of action and suspense with tons of thrills.  I read this in about a 24 hour period and could not wait to see what would happen next and how Christy was going to fix what happened on her failed mission.  Cindy has a talent in how she writes this series (and all of her books:)  At times I didn't know who to trust, especially when it came to Division.  Christy has a talent of thinking on her feet and with her heart, and sometimes that gets her in more trouble, as she tries to figure out her next move.  There was a surprise return character that had me guessing the whole time. I loved it when Jeremy came back, he and Christy have a fantastic chemistry.  The ending was an enjoyable surprise and I can't wait to see where Cindy will take that in the next book.

5 out of 5 stars.  Cindy's "Christy" books can standalone, but I think the story and characters will be appreciated more if read in order.  

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mothman's Curse by Christine Hayes

Mothman's Curse

Author: Christine Hayes

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan

Published: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62672-027-5

Hardcover: 320 pages

FTC FYI: Received a hardcover copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

When Josie and her brothers uncover a haunted camera, the Mothman legend becomes a terrifying reality that threatens their entire town in this spooky and action-filled novel. Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. But when she and her brothers discover a Polaroid camera that prints pictures of the ghost of local recluse John Goodrich, they are drawn into a mystery dating back over a hundred years. A desperate spirit, cursed jewelry, natural disasters, and the horrible specter of Mothman all weave in and out of the puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life. 

My Review

Another sensational middle grade book!  The story was intriguing, very fun and spooky at times.  I loved Josie, Fox, and cute little Mason.  Aunt Barb was also great.  I loved how ambitious and smart the main characters were.  Josie and Fox both were fantastic.  Their love and concern for their family and especially each other, was very enduring and what drove them to figure out their problem(s).  I don't want to spoil what happens, but it is big and not only involves them, but thousands.  I loved the background of the auction house, and how Fox would peddle leftover items as "haunted".  The Mothman legend was eerie and how John Goodrich was involved also made for a great story. 

5 out of 5 stars.  I can't wait for more from this author.  

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Miracle Maker - DVD

"The Miracle Maker is coming!" Everyone in the tiny town is excited when they hear the news that the renowned man of wonders is coming to their village. But the humble traveller who appears isn't what anyone expected. They were looking forward to someone magnificent who would change their lives. It seems this man can barely take care of himself, let alone fulfill the dreams of others. But miracles can come in all shapes and sizes—and sometimes from unexpected places. 


My Review

I really enjoyed this lovely movie.  It is a perfect film to watch with the whole family.  I thought the characters were great and were perfect for their roles.  I enjoyed seeing Brian Krause especially, I was a huge CHARMED fan! :)  The youngest daughter of the shopkeeper won my heart right away.  I loved the plot of the story and how many townspeople were in need of a miracle.  I loved how the miracles came in creative ways.  My favorite was the shopkeeper's.  Well, I had many favorites.  The gossiping old ladies were funny, the preacher and Lily were great too, as well as the preacher's mother.  I loved her miracle too.  The film is a perfect way to get in the spirit of giving.

I received a link from the distributor to watch the movie from home.

Purchase Links

Amazon / Seagull Book 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker -- Blitz/Review

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker
I'm THRILLED to be participating in Courtney King Walker's CHASING MIDNIGHT book blitz! Check out the book below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway.

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker Publication Date: January 12, 2016 Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing
  1. The biggest, fanciest house on Sea View Drive.
  2. Nike Flyknits.
  3. A ski-jump nose.
  4. My own car. A new BMW.
  5. Be a total pro at the piano.
  6. James Odera to like me. Be James Odera’s girlfriend.
  7. Get Spencer’s lungs fixed.
Mackenzie Love dreams of being a “lucky one”—someone who has the perfect life. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about money, a sick brother, or her high school status. So when a mysterious visitor offers to make all her wishes come true, Mackenzie jumps at the chance. But the royal lifestyle may cost more than Mackenzie is willing to pay in this modern twist on the classic Cinderella story. Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review

I was lucky enough to get an eARC of this book!  I am a huge fan of Courtney's books and a sucker for a fairytale retelling.  Courtney does a fantastic job with this story.  Mackenzie is an instantly likable character.  Her humor and charm are catching.  Oh, the funny lines that go through her head.  As much as I enjoyed Mackenzie's character, Cale stole the show for me, though.  He was a doll and so genuine.  I loved it when he was around.  

Mackenzie dreams of being a "lucky one", living on the top of Sea View drive, having the perfect "ski jump" nose, and wants her brother Spencer to be well.  Be careful what you wish for.  Mackenzie's wishes are granted, but at what cost.  Is being a lucky one all it's cracked up to be? I loved the whole book, but I appreciated Mackenzie's realization at the end, and her journey to being her own form of a lucky one.  

4 out of 5 stars. (I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.) 

Suddenly, my ears buzz and go blank, blocking the noise around me, almost like my head has been plunged underwater. 
Cale looks at me sideways. I shake my head, trying to knock the silence free.
“Is this what you wish for?” a voice booms in my head deep and smoky, every syllable alive like the air has been awakened from a deep sleep. 
I turn around, knowing that distinctive voice, that spicy aroma. “You,” I say, staring straight into eyes the color of midnight, feeling myself already simmering in the scent of roasted hazelnuts. Bird Lady. Her Mohawk hair is as majestic as before, maybe even more like a jay’s tuft now. With a long, black dress that bleeds into cobalt blue at her feet, she blends into the crowd like she’s always been part of it. My eyes go straight to her bare neck, where her dark skin glimmers gold under the strobe lights above.
Is she here to reclaim her lost charm? 
Before I have a chance to confess the whereabouts of her necklace, however, the room freezes with everyone in it—everyone except for Bird Lady and me. 
I scan left then right, wondering if we are the only two aware that the room has been placed on pause. Cale still holds his drink to his lips, a grin stuck on his face. Fritz is mid-action, in the middle of wiping off the counter, his fingers clamped around a cloth. The music has even stopped, along with the hum of voices and the clanking of silver on china. I wait for an explanation, wait for the world to start up again . . . for music to ignite from the grand piano tucked into the corner beneath the winding staircase, or for the murmur of conversations to begin again. 
But everything seems stuck. 
The glass cone buzzes in my hands, the only thing here that seems real. My mind is blank; for some reason I can’t think of anything except the Bird Lady. I close my eyes, waiting for a cue . . . for something to click in my mind and tell me what to do next, other than remain here in a sea of paralyzed limbs. 
When I open my eyes again, Bird Lady is still staring at me. 
“What’s happening?” I ask her, my voice carrying across the room to the other side then bouncing off the wall and back at me. 
“Look,” she says, pointing at the crowd. “You’ll see in a minute.” 
I spin around and scan the faces, looking for something. She steps backward, as if giving me space. The glass cone slips from my hand and hits the counter as the piercing sound of glass bouncing off stone fills the room. I’m about to demand some kind of explanation, but my words die on my tongue the instant I recognize, even from this distance, the profile of a girl standing in the center of the crowd, at the center of attention. 
The girl . . . is me. 
A prettier version of me, but still, me. 
I rush past Bird Lady toward the crowd, but halt at the sound of her voice. 
“Don’t get too close,” she warns. “It’s only a glimpse. She will vanish if you push it.” 
“A glimpse . . . ,” I repeat, wondering how I am seeing what I’m seeing. 
Seeing me 
Yet there I am—wedged in between James and Brecke, a pink bubbly in my hand and what looks like a laugh ready to burst from my mouth.  
My nose is different—small and ski-jump perfect, my long, dark hair smoother and stick-straight, still resting slightly above my elbows like it is now. I’m wearing a black halter dress, the taffeta skirt reaching all the way to my toes, my shoulders bare. The whole group is there beside me and I am at the center, the look in my eyes one of belonging, of being adored. 
Of being a lucky one. 
“Is this what you want?” Bird Lady says again, her voice everywhere, somewhere in the air, floating around me. 
My breath is gone, my body is immobile, but my mind still spins. “I don’t know,” I answer, acutely aware of the sour feeling still twisting my stomach after my encounter with James and the lucky ones. 
“You have to know. Some time or other.” Bird Lady glides even closer to me until her cinnamon scent starts to burn my eyes. “What will you give?” she asks.  
“What?” I ask, confused, tears from my burning eyes blurring my vision. 
“Nothing is free, my dear. What’s your offer?” 
“I . . . I don’t know,” I say, my mind stuck in this fog. My eyes losing focus. My gaze falling back on the other me—the girl in the middle of the crowd—the girl who has everything. 
“It’s your choice. You have until midnight to start the clock." 
“What clock?” “The necklace. Make your offer and put the charm around your neck, child. When you awake, it will have begun.”

Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker
“Be careful what you wish for. . . . A modern Cinderella story that will charm its way into your heart and make you second-guess the grass you think is greener.” — Jennifer Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers

On Sale!

Looking for a romantic read? Grab Courtney King Walker's debut young adult novel, ON THE FRINGEfor just 0.99 cents! It's a YA ghost story, where your first embrace could be your last…
On the Fringe by Courtney King Walker
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Courtney King WalkerAbout the Author

Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.


Winner will receive a signed physical copy of CHASING MIDNIGHT and $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
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